Vorbeimarsch des  Volkssturms an Goebbels, Berlin

by Dr. William L. Pierce

A common belief among defenders of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is that the National Socialist government of Germany under Adolf Hitler did not permit the private ownership of firearms. Totalitarian governments, they have been taught in their high school civics classes, do not trust their citizens and do not dare permit them to keep firearms. Thus, one often hears the statement, “You know, the first thing the Nazis did when they came to power was outlaw firearms,” or, “The first thing Hitler did in Germany was round up all the guns.”

One can understand why many American gun owners want to believe this. They see in the current effort of their own government to take away their right to keep and bear arms a limitation of an essential element of their freedom and a move toward tyranny, and they want to characterize the gun-grabbers in the most negative way they can. Adolf Hitler has been vilified continuously for the past 60 years or so by the mass media in America, and certainly no politician or officeholder wants to be compared with him. If the gun-confiscation effort can be portrayed convincingly as something of which Hitler would have approved, it will have been effectively tarred.

This identification of the inclination to deny citizens the right to keep and bear arms with National Socialism and Adolf Hitler has been strengthened recently by clever magazine advertisements which show Hitler with his arm outstretched in a Roman salute under a heading: “All in favor of gun control raise your right hand.” A Jewish group, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO), quite noisy for its size, has been especially zealous in promoting the idea that the current gun-control effort in America has its roots in Germany during the Hitler period. This group has gone so far as to claim in several articles published in popular magazines read by firearms enthusiasts that the current restrictive legislation being proposed by the U.S. government is modeled on a gun-control statute enacted by Germany’s National Socialist government: the German Weapons Law (Waffengesetz) of March 18, 1938.

Again, one can understand the motivation of the JPFO. Many non-Jewish firearms owners are well aware that the movement to restrict their rights is led and promoted primarily by Jews, and anti-Jewish feeling has been growing among them. They know that the controlled news media, which are almost unanimously in favor of abridging or abolishing the Second Amendment, are very much under the influence of Jews, and they know that the most vocal anti-gun legislators in the Congress also are Jews. It is natural for a group such as the JPFO to mount a damage- control effort and attempt to prevent anti-Jewish feeling from becoming even stronger among gun owners. Their strategy is to deflect the blame from their kinsmen in the media and the government and direct it onto their most hated enemies, the National Socialists — or at least to create enough smoke to obscure the facts and keep the gun-owning public confused.

Unfortunately for those who would like to link Hitler and the National Socialists with gun control, the entire premise for such an effort is false. German firearms legislation under Hitler, far from banning private ownership, actually facilitated the keeping and bearing of arms by German citizens by eliminating or ameliorating restrictive laws which had been enacted by the government preceding his: a left-center government which had contained a number of Jews.


It is not just that the National Socialist firearms legislation was the opposite of what it has been claimed to have been by persons who want to tar modern gun-grabbers with the “Nazi” brush: the whole spirit of Hitler’s government was starkly different from its portrayal by America’s mass media. The facts, in brief, are these:

  • The National Socialist government of Germany, unlike the government in Washington today, did not fear its citizens. Adolf Hitler was the most popular leader Germany has ever had. Unlike American presidents, he did not have to wear body armor and have shields of bulletproof glass in front of him whenever he spoke in public. At public celebrations he rode standing in an open car as it moved slowly through cheering crowds. Communists made several attempts to assassinate him, and his government stamped down hard on communism, virtually wiping it out in Germany. Between upright, law-abiding German citizens and Adolf Hitler, however, there was a real love affair, with mutual trust and respect.
  • The spirit of National Socialism was one of manliness, and individual self-defense and self- reliance were central to the National Socialist view of the way a citizen should behave. The notion of banning firearms ownership was utterly alien to National Socialism. In the German universities, where National Socialism gained its earliest footholds and which later became its strongest bastions, dueling was an accepted practice. Although the liberal-Jewish governments in Germany after the First World War attempted to ban dueling, it persisted illegally until it was again legalized by the National Socialists. Fencing, target shooting, and other martial arts were immensely popular in Germany, and the National Socialists encouraged young Germans to become proficient in these activities, believing that they were important for the development of a man’s character.
  • Gun registration and licensing (for long guns as well as for handguns) were legislated by an anti-National Socialist government in Germany in 1928, five years before the National Socialists gained power. Hitler became Chancellor on January 30, 1933. Five years later his government got around to rewriting the gun law enacted a decade earlier by his predecessors, substantially amel ior a ting it in the process (for example, long guns were exempted from the requirement for a purchase permit; the legal age for gun ownership was lowered from 20 to 18 years; the period of validity of a permit to carry weapons was extended from one to three years; and provisions restricting the amount of ammunition or the number of firearms an individual could own were dropped). Hitler’s government may be criticized for leaving certain restrictions and licensing requirements in the law, but the National Socialists had no intention of preventing law-abiding Germans from keeping or bearing arms. Again, the firearms law enacted by Hitler’s government enhanced the rights of Germans to keep and bear arms; no new restrictions were added, and many pre-existing restrictions were relaxed or eliminated.
  • At the end of the Second World War, American GIs in the occupying force were astounded to discover how many German civilians owned private firearms. Tens of thousands of pistols looted from German homes by GIs were brought back to the United States after the war. In 1945 General Eisenhower ordered all privately owned firearms in the American occupation zone of Germany confiscated, and Germans were required to hand in their shotguns and rifles as well as any handguns which had not already been stolen. In the Soviet occupation zone German civilians were summarily shot if they were found in possession of even a single cartridge.

Jews, it should be noted, were not Germans, even if they had been born in Germany. The National Socialists defined citizenship in ethnic terms, and under Hitler Jews were not accorded full rights of citizenship. National Socialist legislation progressively excluded Jews from key professions: teaching, the media, the practice of law, etc. The aim was not only to free German life from an oppressive and degenerative Jewish influence, but to persuade Jews to emigrate. The German Weapons Law of March 18, 1938, specifically excluded Jews from manufacturing or dealing in firearms or munitions, but it did not exclude them from owning or bearing personal firearms. The exclusion of Jews from the firearms business rankled them as much as any other exclusion, and in their typically ethnocentric fashion they have misrepresented the law involved as an anti-gun law in an effort to cast their enemies in a bad light.
It should be noted in passing that the restrictions placed on Jews by the National Socialists had the intended effect: between 1933 and 1939 two-thirds of the Jews residing in Germany emigrated, reducing the Jewish population of the country from 600,000 when Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 to 200,000 at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Jews in the United States, looking at this period from their own narrowly focused viewpoint, have described these peacetime years of the National Socialist government as a time of darkness, terror, and regression, whereas for the German people it was a time of hope, joy, and spiritual and material renewal.

Much the same type of distortion is seen in the portrayal of the United States in the early 1950s: the so-called “McCarthy Era.” Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican, Wisconsin) used his position as chairman of the Senate’s Government Operations Committee to expose the widespread communist infiltration of the U.S. government and other U.S. institutions which had taken place during the Second World War. A substantial majority of the communists who were dragged reluctantly out into the light of day by his efforts were Jews. As a result, the controlled media always have portrayed the period as one of terror and repression, when everyone was frightened of Senator McCarthy’s “witch-hunt.” Of course, it was nothing of the sort to non-Jewish Americans, who were not intimidated in the least. History viewed through a Jewish lens — i.e., through media controlled by Jews — always is distorted in a way corresponding to Jewish interests and concerns.


Both the German Weapons Law of March 18, 1938, enacted by the National Socialists, and the Law on Firearms and Ammunition of April 12, 1928, which was enacted by an anti-National Socialist government, are given below in full, first in facsimile and then in English translation. A little background information first, however, may help the reader to understand their significance. After Germany’s defeat in the First World War (a defeat in which Germany’s Jews played no small part, demoralizing the home front with demonstrations and other subversive activity much as they did in America during the Vietnam war), the Kaiser abdicated, and liberals and leftists seized control of the government in 1918. Hitler, recovering in a military hospital from a British poison-gas attack which had blinded him temporarily, made the decision to go into politics and fight against the traitors he felt were responsible for Germany’s distress.

The tendency of Germany’s new rulers after the First World War was much the same as it is for the liberals in America today: they promoted cosmopolitanism, internationalism, and egalitarianism. By 1923 economic conditions in Germany had become catastrophic, and there was much public unrest. The communists had made major inroads into the labor movement and were a growing threat to the country.

Hitler had indeed gone into politics, and his National Socialists battled the communists in the streets of Germany’s cities and gradually came to be seen by many patriotic Germans in the working class and the middle class as the only force which could save Germany from a communist takeover and total ruin. Hitler’s National Socialists continued to win recruits and gain strength during the 1920s. The communists, with aid from the Soviet Union, also continued to grow. The political situation became increasingly unstable as the government lost popular support.

The government’s response was to substantially tighten up restrictions on the rights of German citizens to keep and bear arms. The Law on Firearms and Ammunition of April 12, 1928, was the most substantial effort in this regard. This law was enacted by a left-center government hostile to the National Socialists (the government was headed by Chancellor Wilhelm Marx and consisted of a coalition of Socialists, including many Jews, and Catholic Centrists).

Five years later, in 1933, the National Socialists were in power, Hitler headed the government, and the communist threat was crushed decisively. The National Socialists began undoing the social and economic damage done by their predecessors. Germany was restored to full employment, degeneracy and corruption were rooted out, Jews and their collaborators were removed from one facet of national life after another, and the German people entered a new era of national freedom, health, and prosperity.


Finally, in 1938, the National Socialist government got around to enacting a new firearms law to replace the one enacted by their opponents ten years earlier. The highlights of the 1938 law, especially as it applied to ordinary citizens rather than manufacturers or dealers, follow:


  • Handguns may be purchased only on submission of a Weapons Acquisition Permit (Waffenerwerbschein), which must be used within one year from the date of issue. Muzzle- loading handguns are exempted from the permit requirement. [The 1928 law had required a permit for the purchase of long guns as well, but the National Socialists dropped this requirement.]
  • Holders of a permit to carry weapons (Waffenschein) or of a hunting license do not need a Weapons Acquisition Permit in order to acquire a handgun.
  • A hunting license authorizes its bearer to carry hunting weapons and handguns.
  • Firearms and ammunition, as well as swords and knives, may not be sold to minors under the age of 18 years. [The age limit had been 20 years in the 1928 law.]
  • Whoever carries a firearm outside of his dwelling, his place of employment, his place of business, or his fenced property must have on his person a Weapons Permit (Waffenschein). A permit is not required, however, for carrying a firearm for use at a police-approved shooting range.
  • A permit to acquire a handgun or to carry firearms may only be issued to persons whose trustworthiness is not in question and who can show a need for a permit. In particular, a permit may not be issued to:


  1. persons under the age of 18 years;
  2. legally incompetent or mentally retarded persons;
  3. Gypsies or vagabonds;
  4. persons under mandatory police supervision [i.e., on parole] or otherwise temporarily without civil rights;
  5. persons convicted of treason or high treason or known to be engaged in activities hostile to the state;
  6. persons who for assault, trespass, a breach of the peace, resistance to authority, a criminal offense or misdemeanor, or a hunting or fishing violation were legally sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than two weeks, if three years have not passed since the term of imprisonment.


  • The manufacture, sale, carrying, possession, and import of the following are prohibited:


  1. “trick” firearms, designed so as to conceal their function (e.g., cane guns and belt-buckle pistols);
  2. any firearm equipped with a silencer and any rifle equipped with a spotlight;
  3. cartridges with .22 caliber, hollow-point bullets.

That is the essence. Numerous other provisions of the law relate to firearms manufacturers, importers, and dealers; to acquisition and carrying of firearms by police, military, and other official personnel; to the maximum fees which can be charged for permits (3 Reichsmark); to tourists bringing firearms into Germany; and to the fines and other penalties to be levied for violations.

The requirements of “trustworthiness” and of proof of need when obtaining a permit are troubling, but it should be noted that they were simply carried over from the 1928 law: they were not formulated by the National Socialists. Under the National Socialists these requirements were interpreted liberally: a person who did not fall into one of the prohibited categories listed above was considered trustworthy, and a statement such as, “I often carry sums of money,” was accepted as proof of need.

The prohibitions of spotlight-equipped rifles and hollow-point .22 caliber ammunition were based on considerations that the former were unsporting when used for hunting, and the latter were inhumane.

Now read the German firearms laws for yourself, either in the original German exactly as they were published by the German government in the Reichsgesetzblatt or in the complete English translations which are provided here. If you want to skip over most of the legal gobbledygook and go directly to the most pertinent part of the National Socialist Firearms Law — the part pertaining to the purchase, ownership, and carrying of firearms by private citizens — turn to page 35 (Part IV of the Law). Note, as already mentioned above, that two separate and distinct types of permits are referred to: a Weapons Acquisition Permit (Waffenerwerbschein), required only for purchasing a handgun; and a Weapons Permit (Waffenschein), required for carrying any firearm in public. Interestingly enough, as also mentioned above, a hunting license could take the place of both these permits.

When you have read the two laws mentioned here, you will understand that it was Hitler’s enemies, not Hitler, who should be compared with the gun-control advocates in America today. Then as now it was the Jews, not the National Socialists, who wanted the people’s right of self- defense restricted. You will understand that those who continue to make the claim that Hitler was a gun-grabber are either ignorant or dishonest. And you will understand that it was not until 1945, when the communist and democratic victors of the Second World War had installed occupation governments to rule over the conquered Germans that German citizens were finally and completely denied the right to armed self-defense.


Published in: on August 24, 2019 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Martyr Rudolf Hess


Yesterday marked the 32 anniversary of the day day Rudolf Hess was murdered after 40 year of solitary captivity at  Spandau Prison in Berlin. I share with you an excerpt of his son Wolf’s address, presented by video recording at the Eleventh IHR Conference, October 1992, in Irvine,  about his father’s fate.

Flight for Peace

What really happened between June 1940 and May 10, 1941, the day my father took off in a Messerschmitt 110 to Scotland, is known only in outline because the relevant British documents still remain classified. The Hess papers that were released in Britain with great fanfare in June 1992 proved to be disappointing. Among these approximately two thousand pages was absolutely nothing of real substance about the secret contacts that existed between Britain and Germany, about the British peace group (which included members of the royal family) and its peace feelers to Germany, or about the role played by the British secret service prior to the flight. In short, these papers contained nothing that would show why my father seriously hoped that his mission might well turn out successfully.

In any case, it can be said with certainty that the still-classified British documents contain nothing that will reflect badly on Rudolf Hess or the policies of the German government of that time. Moreover, it can be stated with certainty that the documents that the British government continues to keep secret will reflect badly on the wartime British government of Winston Churchill. I will go further to say that these suppressed documents confirm that Churchill sought to prolong the war, with all the suffering, destruction and death that implies.

Some may dismiss this statement as unjustified and self-serving. In this regard, I would therefore like to cite the words of a British historian who has carried out extensive research on precisely this aspect of that dreadful conflict. In Ten Days To Destiny: The Secret Story of the Hess Peace Initiative and British Efforts to Strike a Deal with Hitler (New York: W. Morrow, 1991), John Costello concludes that it would have been quite possible to bring the European war to an before it turned into a world war, if only the British government had made even the slightest move to do so.

In Ten Days To Destiny [on pages 17 to 19], Costello writes the following revealing sentences:

Until the British government reverses current policy and releases the relevant section of its historic intelligence service archives, it may be impossible to determine whether the clandestine contacts with Germany that evidently played a part in bringing Hess to Scotland on the night of May 10 were a secret service triumph or part of a sinister peace plot that ran out of control. What is now indisputable is that the Hess mission was very far from being the “brainstorm” of Hitler’s deluded deputy that it is still being portrayed as by distinguished British historians. The documentary evidence that has now come to light [which, I might add parenthetically, is only the tip of the iceberg] shows that it was the outcome of an interlocking sequence of secret British and German peace manoeuvres that can be tracked right back to the summer of 1940. The pieces of this jigsaw puzzle are now falling into place to show that: […]

  • Hitler’s order halting the Panzer advance on Dunkirk was a carefully timed stratagem to persuade the British and French governments to seek a compromise peace.
  • A majority of the [Churchill] War Cabinet had decided to trade off Gibraltar and Malta in return for keeping control of the Empire.
  • An alarmed President Roosevelt secretly sought Canadian help to stop the British accepting a “soft peace” deal with Hitler.
  • French leaders believed on May 24, 1940, that Britain would not fight on but accept a joint peace deal brokered by Mussolini at the of May 1940.
  • Churchill — and Britain — survived only because the Prime Minister resorted to ruthless Machiavellian intrigue and a high-stakes bluff to stop a wobbly Foreign Secretary talking the War Cabinet into a peace deal engineered by R.A. Butler. When France fell, Lord Halifax’s Under Secretary actually passed a message to Berlin that “common sense and not bravado” dictated that Britain should negotiate, not fight Hitler. […]
  • Two days after Churchill had promised “we shall never surrer,” Lord Halifax and R.A. Butler signalled to Berlin via Sweden that a British peace proposal would be made after the French armistice on June 18, 1940.
  • Ambassador Kennedy had been in clandestine contact with Hitler’s emissaries trying to stop the war while the British government suspected him of illegally profiting from Treasury information to make a killing in international stock and securities dealings. […]
  • The Duke of Windsor and other members of the Royal Family encouraged German expectations that peace would eventually be negotiable.
  • Hess’ plan to fly to Scotland took shape in the final days of the battle for France and was encouraged in September 1940 by his discovery that Britain continued putting out peace feelers via Switzerland and Spain.
  • MI5 [the British secret service] intercepted Hess’ first peace initiative and then turned it into a “double-cross” operation to snare Hess into a trap baited by the Duke of Hamilton and the British Ambassadors in Switzerland and Madrid.
  • Hess’ dramatic arrival left Churchill with no choice but to bury the affair in distortion and official silence in order to protect not only the Duke of Hamilton but senior Tory colleagues who even in 1941 remained convinced that an honorable peace could be struck with Hitler.

For more than fifty years the cloak of British secrecy has clouded and distorted the record. The official histories carefully masked the roles played by the key players in the year-long effort to strike a deal with Hitler behind Churchill’s back. Just how close this peace plotting came to succeeding has been concealed to protect the reputations of the British politicians and diplomats who had believed that Hitler was less of a menace to the Empire than Stalin …

Churchill also had his own reasons for burying his wartime quarrels with other leading members of the Conservative Party. He did not want any scandal to sully the glory of his leadership during the Battle of Britain and the “white glow, overpowering and sublime, which ran through our Island from end to end.”

Britain’s “Finest Hour” and Churchill’s own role in forging it were enshrined as one of the most illustrious chapters in British history. His visionary courage had created, by words rather than military substance, the British people’s belief that, against the overwhelming odds, they could defy Hitler in 1940.

No one knows for sure whether my father undertook his flight with the knowledge and blessing of Adolf Hitler. Both men are now dead. All the available evidence, though, suggests that Hitler knew in advance of the flight:

First: Just a few days before his flight, my father had a private meeting with Hitler that lasted four hours. It is known that the two men raised their voices during portions of their talk, and that when they were finished, Hitler accompanied his Deputy to the ante-room, put his arm soothingly around his shoulder, and said: “Hess, you really are stubborn.”

Second: The relationship between Hitler and Hess was so close and intimate that one can logically assume that Hess would not have undertaken such an important step in the middle of a war without first informing Hitler.

Third: Although Hess’ adjutants and secretaries were imprisoned after the flight, Hitler intervened to protect Hess’ family. He saw to it that a pension was paid to Hess’ wife, and he sent a personal telegram of condolence to Hess’ mother when her husband died in October 1941.

Fourth: Among the papers released in June 1992 by the British authorities are two farewell letters my father wrote on June 14, 1941, the day before he tried to commit suicide in Mytchett Place, in England. The letters were written after he realized that his peace mission had definitely failed. One was addressed to Hitler and the other to his family. Both clearly confirm that his close relationship with Hitler still existed. If he had undertaken his now-obviously failed mission without Hitler’s prior knowledge, his relationship with Hitler clearly would no longer still have been one of trust.

And, fifth: Gauleiter Ernst Bohle, the Hess confident and high-ranking official who had helped my father to translate some papers into English, remained convinced until his death that all this was done with Hitler’s knowledge and approval.

Suppressing Historical Evidence

A general comment on the information available about my father’s peace proposals is in order: During the entire forty-year period of his imprisonment in Spandau, he was prohibited from speaking openly about his mission. This “gag order” was obviously imposed because he knew things that, if publicly known, would be highly embarrassing to the British government, and possibly to the US and Soviet governments as well.

As a result, contemporary historical research remains entirely depent on the British documents. British authorities have announced that many important documents from the Hess files will remain under lock and key until the year 2017. The entire matter was handled so secretly that no more than a handful of individuals around Churchill were really in the know. The proposals, plans or offers brought by Hess have remained secret in the archives right up to the present. As long as these documents remain secret, the world will not know the precise nature of the peace proposals that my father brought with him to present to the British government in May 1941. All this must, of course, be taken into consideration in any serious assessment of my father’s historic flight.

One indication that Hess said more than is now known is contained in a note prepared on June 3, 1941, by Ralph Murray of the “Political Warfare Executive” — a top secret British government agency — for Sir Reginald Leeper, head of the secret service section of the Foreign Office. This document suggests that Secretary of State Cadogan also had a conversation with Rudolf Hess.

The purpose and context of this conversation still cannot be determined: The available information is still not complete. Nevertheless, it appears that during the course of this conversation the Deputy Führer was even more specific and detailed about his proposals than he was in some later conversations.

These were Hess’ proposals:

One: Germany and Britain would reach a compromise on world-wide policy based on the status quo. That is, Germany would not attack Russia to secure German Lebensraum [“living space”].

Two: Germany would drop its claims to its former colonies, and would acknowledge British hegemony at sea. In return, Britain would acknowledge continental Europe as a German sphere of interest.

Three: The then-current relationship of military strength between Germany and Britain in the air and on the sea would be maintained. That is, Britain would not receive any reinforcements from the United States. Although there was no mention of land forces, it can be assumed that this balance of forces would be maintained in this regard as well.

Four: Germany would withdraw from “Metropolitan France” [European France] after the total disarmament of the French army and navy. German commissioners would remain in French North Africa, and German troops would remain in Libya for five years after the conclusion of peace.

Five: Within two years after the conclusion of peace, Germany would establish satellite states in Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Serbia. However, Germany would withdraw from Norway, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece (except for Crete, which German parachutists had taken at the of May, 1941). After some rounding-off in the East, North, West and South (Austria and Bohemia-Moravia were apparently to remain within the Reich), Germany would thus concede Britain’s position in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Six: Germany would recognize Ethiopia and the Red Sea as a British sphere of influence.

Seven: The person to whom the Deputy Führer was speaking was somewhat confused about whether Italy had approved Hess’ peace proposals. Hess himself said nothing about this, although points four and six would have considerably affected Italian interests.

Eight: Rudolf Hess admitted that Hitler had agreed in advance to the official “cover story” put out in Germany that he was of “unsound mind.”

This peace proposal would indeed have brought peace to the world in 1941. If Britain had negotiated with Germany on this basis, the German attack against Russia — which began less than three weeks later, on June 22, 1941 — would not have taken place, because Hitler would have obtained what he needed for survival: control of the continent. The war would have withered away on all fronts.

Instead, as we know, the war continued — bringing destruction, suffering and death on an almost unimaginable scale — because the outstretched hand of peace was rejected by Churchill and Roosevelt. The peace they sought was a Carthaginian one. Their sole war aim was the destruction of Germany.

After initial interviews with Rudolf Hess conducted by the Duke of Hamilton and Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick in Glasgow, my father was interviewed on June 9, 1941, by Lord Simon, the Lord Chancellor, and on September 9, 1941, by Lord Beaverbrook, Minister for Aircraft Production. A few days later, Beaverbrook flew to Moscow to arrange for military aid to the Soviet Union. These two interviews were motivated not by any desire for peace, but were instead merely to pry out any possible military secrets from Hess.


After September 1941 my father was completely isolated. On June 25, 1942, he was transferred to Abergavenny in south Wales, where he was kept prisoner until he was flown to Nuremberg on October 8, 1945, to stand trial as a “major war criminal” and as the second-ranking defendant in the so-called “International Military Tribunal.”

I will not go into detail here about this shameful “victors’ trial of the vanquished,” except to note that even the Tribunal’s Allied judges had to exonerate my father of the charges of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity,” but ruled that he — the one man who had risked his life to secure peace — was guilty of “crimes against peace,” and, on that basis, sentenced him to life imprisonment! The court’s treatment of Hess is alone more than enough to dismiss the Nuremberg Tribunal as a vengeful victors’ kangaroo court that merely pretendedd to be a genuine forum of justice.

Spandau Prison

Along with six Nuremberg co-defendants, my father was transferred on July 18, 1947, to the grim fortress in the Spandau district of Berlin that was designated the Allied Military Prison.

The regulations under which the seven prisoners were held were so severe that even the French prison chaplain, Casalis, protested (in 1948) against their outrageous treatment. He went on to describe Spandau as a place of mental torture. In October 1952, after two years of protracted discussion between the custodial powers, the Soviets agreed to following so-called “special privileges”: One visit of thirty minutes a month. One letter a week of no more than 1,300 words. Medical attention in the prison. And, in the event of death, interment of the ashes in the prison instead of scattering in the wind.

After the release of Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach on October 1, 1966, Rudolf Hess was the only remaining inmate. For more than twenty years, my father was the sole prisoner in a prison designed for about six hundred.

After a further revision of regulations in the early 1970s, one member of the family was permitted to visit the prisoner for one hour once a month. The prisoner was now also permitted to receive four books each month. As before, visits, letters and books were strictly censored. No reference to the events of the 1933 to 1945 period was permitted. No mention of the Tribunal’s sentence, or matters related to it, was permitted. Family visits were monitored by authorities of each of the four powers, as well as by at least two guards. No physical contact — not even a handshake — was permitted. The visits took place in a special “Visitor’s Room,” which had a partition with an open “window.’

My father was allowed to receive four daily newspapers, and after the mid-1970s, he was allowed to watch television. However, newspapers and television were censored along the lines mentioned above. My father was not permitted to watch any television news reports.

For many years my father refused visits from members of his family on the grounds that because of the conditions under which such visits were permitted, they were an offense to his honor and dignity, and were more aggravating than pleasurable. He changed his mind in November 1969, when he became severely ill and had to struggle to stay alive. Under these circumstances, and because of new conditions for visits, he agreed to a visit by my mother, Ilse Hess, and myself in the British Military Hospital in Berlin. Thus, on December 24, 1969, my mother and I visited him for the first time since my childhood. This was the only occasion when two persons were permitted to visit him at the same time.

After being returned to the Allied Military Prison in Spandau, he agreed to further visits. In the years that followed, members of the family visited Rudolf Hess 232 times altogether. Only the closest members of his family were allowed to meet with him: that is, his wife, his sister, his niece, his nephew, my wife and myself. It was forbidden to shake hands or embrace. Presents were also forbidden, even on birthdays or at Christmas.

My father’s attorney, retired Bavarian state minister Dr. Alfred Seidl, was permitted to meet with his client only six times in all during the forty year period from July 1947 to August 1987. Dr. Seidl was also subjected to the strict censorship regulations: That is, he was warned before each visit that he was not allowed to discuss with his client the trial, the reasons for his imprisonment or the efforts that were being made to secure his release. The custodial Allied Governments had always refused to bear the costs for the prison. After October 1, 1966, when my father became the prison’s sole prisoner, the German federal government spent around 40 million marks to run the prison. This included salaries for a staff of more than a hundred persons employed to guard and run this prison for a single elderly man.

Rudolf Hess in his Spandau prison cell. On the wall hang maps of the moon, reflecting his keen interest in astronomy.

Soviet Inklings

In 1986, Soviet policy toward the West showed obvious signs of rapprochement and détente. In spite of so many earlier failures, I decided to act on a hint received in December 1986 from the East to directly approach the Soviets to discuss with them my father’s release.

In January 1987, I wrote a letter to the Soviet embassy in Bonn. For the first time in 20 years, I received a reply. Officials there suggested that I visit the Soviet embassy in East Berlin for a detailed discussion with Soviet representatives about my father’s situation. We finally agreed to a meeting at the Soviet consulate in West Berlin on March 31, 1987, at 2:00 p.m. As the embassy officials were certainly aware, this would be on the same day as my next visit with my father.

That morning, I visited my father in Spandau prison for the very last time. I found him to be mentally alert, quite up to par, but physically very weak. He could walk only when supporting himself with a cane on one side, and with help from a guard on the other. Sitting down with his feet propped on a chair had become a tedious procedure which he could not manage without help. Even though I found the temperature in the visitor’s room to be quite normal, he felt cold and asked for his coat and an additional blanket.

My father opened our conversation with an interesting piece of news, the details of which he asked me to set down in writing: He had sent a new application to the heads of state of the four occupation powers, requesting release from his 46 years imprisonment. I was particularly struck by one point. He told me that he had appealed especially to the Soviet head of state to support his request with the other three custodial powers. “Did I get that right?,” I asked. My father nodded. So he knew — obviously from the Russians themselves — that they were considering approving his release.

After our meeting, I drove from Spandau prison directly to the Soviet consulate. Embassy Counselor Grinin, the official I spoke with there, began by explaining that it was not the Soviet embassy in Bonn, but rather the embassy in East Berlin that was responsible for all Soviet rights and responsibilities in West Berlin. One of these responsibilities, he said — and his words deserve to be repeated verbatim — was “the unpleasant legacy of Spandau.” Anyone who had inherited a legacy like the “Allied Military Prison” on German soil, as the Soviet Union had at the of the war, Grinin said, should certainly want to get rid of it.

I had not expected any sensational outcome from this meeting. It had been a mutual sounding-out, and I believe that it came off positively for each side. It also became clear to me during the course of this meeting that there were conflicting views in Moscow about how to deal with the “Hess case.” Those who were sympathetic to us, led by Secretary General Gorbachev, were clearly gaining the upper hand.

This evaluation was confirmed a short time later in a report published in the German news magazine Der Spiegel (April 13, 1987). The article, which appeared under the headline “Will Gorbachev release Hess?,” reported on a fundamental change in the attitude of the Soviet party leader toward the “Hess case.” Gorbachev, it went on, took the view that the release of Spandau’s last prisoner would be an action “that would be accepted worldwide as a gesture of humanity,” and which “could also be justified to the Soviet people.” In this regard, the news weekly also mentioned the forthcoming visit to Moscow by federal German President Weizsäcker, which was planned to take place in mid-May.

Also on April 13, 1987, a private German citizen wrote a letter about the Hess case to the German-language service of Radio Moscow. The letter of reply, dated June 21, 1987, declared: “As can be hoped from the most recent statements of our head of government, M. Gorbachev, your long years of efforts for the release of the war criminal R. Hess will soon be crowned with success.” It can be assumed with certainty that such a letter from Radio Moscow was not written without approval from above.

These three events — my reception in the Soviet consulate in West Berlin on March 31, 1987, the Spiegel magazine report of April 13, 1987, and the reply from Radio Moscow of June 21, 1987 — show unequivocally that the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Secretary General Gorbachev, intended to release Rudolf Hess. This release would not only be entirely consistent with Gorbachev’s policy of reconciliation, it would also be essential feature of a settlement of the remaining unresolved consequences of the Second World War, without which the reunification of Germany and Berlin would not be possible.

Death by Suicide?

If the western custodial powers had not already been aware of Gorbachev’s intention, they certainly were after the publication of the Spiegel article in April. This undoubtedly set off alarm bells in Britain and the United States, since this new Soviet move would remove the last remaining legal obstacle to my father’s release. For many years the British, American and French governments had said that they were ready to agree to Hess’ release, but that it was only the Soviet veto that prevented it. Gorbachev’s new initiative threatened to call the British and American bluff.

The authorities in London and Washington would have to find some new and more permanent way to deny Hess his freedom and keep him from speaking freely.

On Monday, August 17, 1987, a journalist informed me in my office that my father was dying. Later, at home, I received a telephone call at 6:35 p.m. from Mr. Darold W. Keane, the American director of the Spandau Prison, who informed me officially that my father had died. The official notification, which was in English, read as follows: “I am authorized to inform you that your father expired today at 4:10 p.m. I am not authorized to give you any further details.”

The next morning I was on a plane to Berlin, accompanied by Dr. Seidl. When I arrived at the prison, a fairly large crowd had gathered in front. Berlin police were blocking the entrance, and we were obliged to show identification papers before we were allowed to approach the green-painted iron gate. After ringing the bell, I asked to speak with the American prison director, Mr. Keane. After quite a while, Mr. Keane finally appeared, looking extraordinarily nervous and unsure of himself. He told us that we would not be allowed inside the prison complex, and that I would not be permitted to see my dead father. He also told us that he was not able to provide any further information about details of the death. A new report with details of my father’s death was allegedly being prepared, and would be made available at about 4:00 p.m. Then, after we gave him the address and telephone number of a Berlin hotel where we would be waiting for further news, he left us standing in front of the gate.

The long-expected telephone call to the hotel finally came at about 5:30 p.m. Keane said:

I will now read to you the report that we will release immediately afterwards to the press. It reads:

“Initial examination indicated that Rudolf Hess attempted to take his own life. In the afternoon of August 17, 1987, under the customary supervision of a prison guard, Hess went to a summerhouse in the prison garden, where he always used to sit. When the guard looked into the summerhouse a few minutes later, he discovered Hess with an electric cord around his neck. Attempts were made at resuscitation and Hess was taken to the British Military Hospital. After further attempts to revive Hess, he was declared dead at 4:10 p.m. The question of whether this suicide attempt was the cause of his death is the object of an investigation, including a thorough autopsy, which is still in progress.”

Hess was a frail 93-year-old man with no strength left in his hands, who could just barely drag himself from his cell into the garden. How was he supposed to have killed himself in this way? Did he hang himself with the cord from a hook or a window latch? Or did he throttle himself? Those responsible would not immediately provide a detailed explanation about this point. We had to wait a full month for the final official statement about the circumstances of the death. It was published by the Allies on September 17, 1987, and reads as follows:

1. The Four Powers are now in a position to make the final statement on the death of Rudolf Hess.

2. Investigations have confirmed that on August 17 Rudolf Hess hanged himself from a window latch in a small summerhouse in the prison garden, using an electric extension cord which had for some time been kept in the summerhouse for use in connection with a reading lamp. Attempts were made to revive him and he was then rushed to the British Military Hospital where, after further unsuccessful attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m.

3. A note addressed to Hess’ family was found in his pocket. This note was written on the reverse side of a letter from his daughter-in-law dated July 20, 1987. It began with the words “Please would the governors send this home. Written a few minutes before my death.” The senior document examiner from the laboratory of the British government chemist, Mr. Beard, has examined this note, and concluded that he can see no reason to doubt that it was written by Rudolf Hess.

4. A full autopsy was performed on Hess’ body on August 19 in the British Military Hospital by Dr. Malcolm Cameron. The autopsy was conducted in the presence of medical representatives of the four powers. The report noted a linear mark on the left side of the neck consistent with a ligature. Dr. Cameron stated that in his opinion death resulted from asphyxia, caused by compression of the neck due to suspension.

5. The investigations confirmed that the routine followed by staff on the day of Hess’ suicide was consistent with normal practice. Hess had tried to cut his wrists with a table knife in 1977. Immediately after this incident, warders were placed in his room and he was watched 24 hours a day. This was discontinued after several months as impracticable, unnecessary and an inappropriate invasion of Hess’ privacy.

The report of the autopsy carried out by the British pathologist Dr. Cameron on August 19 was later made available to the family. Concluding that my father’s death was not due to natural causes, it was consistent with point five of the Allied final official statement.

Autopsy and Burial

On the basis of an 1982 agreement between the family and the Allies, the body of Rudolf Hess would not be burned, but instead would be turned over to the family for burial “in Bavaria quietly in the presence of his immediate family.”

The Allies kept this agreement — something they have most probably since regretted emphatically. Accordingly, my father’s body was turned over to the family on the morning of August 20, 1987, at the American military training grounds of Grafenwöhr, where it had arrived earlier that same morning from Berlin in a British military airplane.

The coffin was accompanied by the three Western governors and two Russians, whom I didn’t know, as well as a certain Major Gallagher, chief of the so-called “Special Investigation Branch, Royal Military Police.” The turnover was brief and to the point. We then immediately brought the body to the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Munich, where Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Spann was waiting at our family’s request to conduct a second autopsy. Throughout the entire journey from the military training grounds in Grafenwöhr to the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Munich, the transport was guarded by a contingent of Bavarian police.

In the conclusion of his report of December 21, 1988, on the second autopsy, the renowned Munich pathologist Professor Spann pointed out the difficulties he encountered because he did not have any information about details of the alleged hanging. In particular, he had no information about details of the condition of my father after the supposed discovery of his body. In spite of these limitations, Dr. Spann nevertheless was able to arrive at the following remarkable conclusions:

Dr. Cameron’s further conclusion that this compression was caused by suspension is not necessarily compatible with our findings …

In forensic medicine, the course which the ligature mark takes on the neck is considered a classic indicator for differentiating between forms of hanging and throttling … If Prof. Cameron, in his assessment of the cause of death, comes to the conclusion that the cause of death was asphyxiation caused by compression of the neck due to hanging, he neglects to consider the other method of strangulation, that is, throttling … Making this distinction would have required an examination of the course of the ligature mark. The precise course of the mark is not given in Prof. Cameron’s autopsy report …

Here, neither the course of the strangulation mark on the neck, as we have described it, nor its course on the throat, nor its position relative to the prominence of the larynx has been described and assessed … Since on the uninjured skin of the neck, where the possibility of distortion through the suture of the dissection incision is ruled out, an almost horizontal course of the strangulation mark could be identified, this finding, as well as the fact that the mark on the throat obviously was not located above the larynx, is more indicative of a case of throttling than of hanging. Under no circumstances can the findings be readily explained by a so-called typical hanging. The burst blood vessels which were observed in the face, caused by blood congestion, are also not compatible with typical hanging.

A Tunisian medical orderly, Abdallah Melaouhi, was a civilian employee of the Spandau prison administration at the time of my father’s death. He is not a citizen of one of the four Allied occupation powers, nor, even more to the point, a member of their armed forces. As a result, he could not be silenced or transferred to some remote corner of the world like the others who were present at the scene of the crime.

After the death of my father, Melaouhi got in touch with our family. From a note that my father wrote to him, it is clear that there was a relationship of personal trust between the two men. The core of Melaouhi’s account, which he set down in an affidavit, is as follows:

“When I arrived at the garden summerhouse, I found the scene looking as though a wrestling match had taken place. The ground was churned up and the chair on which Hess had usually sat lay on the ground a considerable distance from its usual location. Hess himself lay lifeless on the ground: He reacted to nothing, his respiration, pulse and heartbeat were no longer measurable. Jordan [an American guard] stood near Hess’ feet and was obviously quite beside himself.”

Melaouhi noticed to his surprise that besides Anthony Jordan, the Black American guard, two strangers in US military uniform were present. This was unusual, since no soldier was normally permitted access to this part of the prison, and above all, because any contact with Rudolf Hess was most strictly forbidden. In Melaouhi’s opinion, the two strangers seemed reserved and calm, in sharp contrast to Jordan.

Affidavit from South Africa

In addition to the Tunisian orderly’s account, there is a further affidavit regarding the events in Spandau on August 17, 1987. My wife brought it back from South Africa, where she had met with a South African lawyer with contacts to Western secret services. I was able to persuade this man to phrase his testimony in the form of an affidavit prepared for a judge. Dated February 22, 1988, this affidavit reads as follows:

I have been questioned about the details of the death of the former German Reich Minister Rudolf Hess.

Reich Minister Rudolf Hess was killed on the orders of the British Home Office. The murder was committed by two members of the British SAS (22nd SAS Regiment, SAS Depot Bradbury Lines, Hereford, England). The military unit of the SAS [Special Air Service] is subordinated to the British Home Office — not to the Ministry of Defense. The planning of the murder as well as its direction was carried out by MI-5. The secret service action whose aim was the murder of Reich Minister Rudolf Hess was so hastily planned that it was not even given a code name, which is absolutely not customary.

Other secret services which had been privy to the plan were the American, the French and the Israeli. Neither the [Soviet] KGB nor the GRU, nor the German secret services had been informed.

The murder of Reich Minister Rudolf Hess had become necessary because the government of the USSR intended to release the prisoner in July 1987 [in connection with German President von Weizsäcker’s forthcoming visit to Moscow], but President von Weizsäcker was able to negotiate an extension with the head of the Soviet government, Gorbachev, until November 1987, the next Soviet period in the guard cycle.

The two SAS men had been in Spandau prison since the night of Saturday-Sunday (August 15-16, 1987). The American CIA gave its consent to the murder on Monday (August 17, 1987).

During Reich Minister Rudolf Hess’ afternoon walk, the two SAS men lay in waiting for the prisoner in the prison garden summerhouse and tried to strangle him with a 4 1/2-foot long cable. Afterwards, a “suicide by hanging” was to be faked. But as Reich Minister Rudolf Hess put up a fight and cried for help, which alerted at least one American guard soldier to the attack, the attempt on the prisoner’s life was broken off, and an ambulance of the British Military Hospital was summoned. The unconscious Reich Minister Rudolf Hess was taken to the British Hospital in the ambulance.

I was given the above information personally and verbally by an officer of the Israeli service on Tuesday, August 18, 1987, at around 8.00 a.m., South African time. I have known this member of the Israeli service both officially and personally for four years. I am completely satisfied that he was sincere and honest and I have no doubt whatsoever as to the truth of his information. The absolutely confidential nature of his conversation with me is also beyond doubt.

Next to Cameron’s misleading autopsy report, the British themselves provided the most decisive clue in solving the mysterious death in the garden summerhouse of Spandau prison.

Suicide Note?

As already mentioned, I was told on August 17, 1987, only that my father had died. It wasn’t until the next day that I learned that he had supposedly committed suicide. In response to doubts I quickly expressed publicly about this supposed suicide, the Allies were prompted to discover, on August 19, 1987, a supposedly incontrovertible “proof” of suicide. This is the so-called “suicide note.” It is an undated hand-written letter on the back of the family’s next-to-the-last letter to Rudolf Hess, dated July 20, 1987. The text of this supposed “suicide note” is as follows:

Please would the Governors send this home. Written a few minutes before my death.

I thank you all, my beloved, for all the dear things you have done for me. Tell Freiburg I am extremely sorry that since the Nuremberg trial I had to act as though I didn’t know her. I had no choice, because otherwise all attempts to gain freedom would have been in vain. I had so looked forward to seeing her again. I did get pictures of her, as of you all. Your Eldest.

This letter was handed to the family more than a month after the death. We were told that it first had to be examined in a British laboratory.

While it did seem to be my father’s handwriting (although considerably distorted, as it was whenever he was suffering as a result of emotional upheaval, health problems or even medication), this “note” did not reflect the thinking of Rudolf Hess in 1987. Rather, it reflected thoughts of his some twenty years earlier. The content mainly concerns “Freiburg,” his one-time private secretary, about whom he had been concerned in 1969 when he had a perforated ulcer in the duodenum and was near death. Moreover, it was signed with an expression, “Your Eldest,” that he not used for about 20 years.

There is another clue in the letter’s text that indicates its date. The phrase, “I did get pictures of her, as of you all,” would have made sense only during the period before Christmas 1969, because until that Christmas he received nothing but photographs of “Freiburg” and us. As of Christmas 1969, he was visited by members of his family, and received more pictures from “Freiburg,” who was not allowed to visit him. Considering the precise way my father expressed himself, this sentence can only have been written before December 24, 1969. Written in August 1987, this sentence makes no sense at all.

Finally, the brief letter’s opening words, “Written a few minutes before my death,” cannot be reconciled with his precise manner of expressing himself. If he had really written this letter before a planned suicide, he would most certainly have chosen a phrase specifying suicide, such as “shortly before my voluntary withdrawal from life” or something similar, but not the ambiguous word “death,” which leaves open any possible method of death.

We, the members of his family who knew not only my father’s handwriting but the writer himself, and who were intimately familiar with his concerns during his final years, know that this supposed “suicide note” is a hoax as crude as it is malicious.

It can now be concluded that a “farewell letter” written by my father almost twenty years earlier in expectation of his death, and which was not handed over to the family at that time, was used to produce this 1987 forgery. For this purpose, the text was transformed by some modern means onto the back of a letter my father had received recently from us. The censorship stamp “Allied Prison Spandau,” which normally appeared, without exception, on every piece of incoming paper he received for more than 40 years, was conspicuously absent from our letter to him of July 20, 1987. Finally, the supposed suicide note bore no date, which was contrary to my father’s routine practice of always prefacing whatever he wrote with the date. The original date had obviously been omitted.

Murder, Not Suicide

On the basis of Prof. Spann’s autopsy report, the affidavits of the Tunisian medical orderly and the South African attorney, as well as the supposed “suicide letter,” I can only conclude that the death of Rudolf Hess on the afternoon of August 17, 1987, was not suicide. It was murder.

Although US authorities were officially in charge of the Allied Military Prison in Berlin-Spandau in August 1987, it is noteworthy that British citizens played such a major role in the final act of the Hess drama. The American director, Mr. Keane, was permitted by the British merely to call me and inform me of my father’s death. After that his only duty was to keep his mouth shut.

To sum up here:

  • The two men the Tunisian orderly Melaouhi saw in American uniform, who were most probably Rudolf Hess’ murderers, were from a British SAS regiment.
  • The death was established in the British Military Hospital, to where my father was brought in a British ambulance.
  • The death certificate is signed only by British military personnel.
  • The autopsy was carried out by a British Pathologist.
  • The British prison director, Mr. Antony Le Tissier, supervised the prompt destruction of all tell-tale evidence, such as the electric cable, the garden house, and so forth.
  • The officials of the Special Investigation Branch (SIB) that investigated the death were all British citizens, and were headed by a British major.
  • The alleged “suicide note” was supposedly found two days later in the pocket of Hess’ jacket by a British officer, and was examined by a British laboratory.
  • Mr. Allan Green, the British Director of Public Prosecution, halted an investigation into my father’s death begun by Scotland Yard, which had recommed a “full scale murder investigation” after officials there had found many inconsistencies.

Rudolf Hess did not commit suicide on August 17, 1987, as the British government claims. The weight of evidence shows instead that British officials, acting on high-level orders, murdered my father.

A Crime Against Truth

The same government, which tried to make him a scapegoat for its crimes, and which for almost half a century resolutely sought to suppress the truth of the Hess affair, finally did not shrink from murder to silence him. My father’s murder was not only a crime against a frail and elderly man, but a crime against historical truth. It was a logical final act of an official British conspiracy that began in 1941, at the outset of the Hess affair.

But I can assure them, and you, that this conspiracy will not succeed. The murder of my father will not, as they hope, forever close the book on the Hess file.

I am convinced that history and justice will absolve my father. His courage in risking his life for peace, the long injustice he endured, and his martyrdom, will not be forgotten. He will be vindicated, and his final words at the Nuremberg trial, “I regret nothing!,” will stand forever.


Published in: on August 19, 2019 at 3:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Internal and External Freedom


By  Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg

Whenever talk comes around to freedom, some of the most vehement disputes in world history arise for our mind’s eye. Not only were all revolutions tied to the idea of freedom but severe tyranny was often allied with the idea of freedom in the course of history. It was freedom that the ancient tyrannical murderers called for; it was freedom the slaves in ancient Rome yearned for when they rendered the fatal blow against an honorable system; it was for freedom of conscience that caused religious reformers to fight against traditional dogmas; it was freedom of science that had been defended in thousands of scientific laboratories against the medieval church. Finally, the question of whether human freedom and a free will exist at all has been investigated by many great philosophers. It is clear to see that whenever there was a major movement in religious, scientific or political life, it was almost always bound to the idea of freedom. The fact that millions and millions of people followed this idea and fought for it in all fields, will forever dignify freedom for us regardless of the dross that is attached to this idea.

Nobody dares to make a dogmatic decision on whether man is free or not. The representatives of both sides argue vehemently for their point of view and in an equally compelling manner. Especially since the rise of the exact sciences the attempt to completely integrate man into nature has increasingly been accompanied by the argument that the idea of a free will is an illusion and that therefore all consequences derived from this idea must be declared null and void. Only thinkers who honestly acknowledged both sides of the questions and the consequences of both sides were able to provide an idea of where to surmise a solution. It was especially Kant who anticipated findings of the exact natural sciences and integrated man into the laws of nature, just like any other natural or living phenomena. In the manner of a natural scientist drawing physical conclusions, he investigated just as thoroughly, the inner nature of man. He finally arrived at the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that man is perfectly unfree but nevertheless free.

Similar to Goethe, Kant saw that man is a member of two worlds that mutually influence one another. The origins of these worlds are different and cannot be traced down to their very roots. It seems that, without voicing any dogmatic opinion, we may well stand on Kant’s foundation. With equal truth we can face the fact that human life is dependent on many influences of its world and environment. In the game of life that we will never completely comprehend, man is but a bridged period of power, just like any other living being. We have to acknowledge a certain inner force that enables man to consciously live and die for an idea, which proves the existence of a force of some sort. That contravenes the other principles of existence and thus leaves us to assume a force that is not beyond the ideas of space, time and causality. Certainly there is no perfect freedom, even if we want to acknowledge free will as such. Freedom is contingent on external possibilities and internal „Gestalt’, but in my eyes this very fact is the only possible presentation of freedom. In the life of a nation, therefore, freedom does not mean the opportunity to achieve everything and, individual freedom cannot mean that one can create, invent or form everything. On the contrary, freedom has to be thought or as a „Gestalt”. This means that freedom, in the sense of creative power, opposes the tyranny of performed patterns, and it also opposes the arbitrariness of chaos and the absence of „Gestalt”.

If we take a look at intellectual and political disputes from this point of view, we find nowhere that freedom equals freedom and the claim to be free. This means the claim for opportunities to create is not given to everybody and must not be given to everybody. True freedom, as a demand and opportunity must always be accompanied by biological power, character and a creative soul. There are individual personalities and there are national personalities. For the latter, an over-extension of freedom opportunities cannot be allowed and a limitation is necessary for the benefit of everybody. It can be seen from the life and lot of many fanatic philosophers and demagogic people’s courts that it may result in a fatal destabilization of powers caused by driving ambition and extravagant will that arise because certain external forces are missing. The examples of the Grachas of Rienzi, Mirabeau and many figures in today’s political life show all too clearly that freedom and law have to form a unit. This fact is expressed in Goethe’s very belief that: „only laws will bring us freedom”.

Duly external ties shape internal creation. This is where the old German understanding of freedom that today is represented in National Socialism reappears. This concept is entirely different from the liberte of the French Revolution and different from the raving madness of Marxist-Bolshevist destruction. The other nations never quite understood this German concept of freedom as they generally never grasped the inner side of the concept of personality. The French historian Guizot once coined a phrase that Goethe especially loved: „it was the Germans who first introduced the concept of personality to the European nations“. It was a concept of Gestalt, in sharp distinction to all egalitarian phrases and confused political constructions. However, it was the concept of a personality that consciously defends its individuality and winds circles of creative performances around a deep and firm inner core, thus expanding and being bound to a center at the same time. It was this German idea of freedom that Martin Luther presented when he argued for a spiritual and religious freedom he was ready to risk his life for. But at the same time he demanded a rigid political regime that could protect this inner freedom against the choice of neighbors and also provide defense against individual choice. The very same opinion was expressed by Goethe when he talked about the existence of respect, especially self-respect. He did not argue for a superficial, arrogant overestimation of one’s capacities, but acknowledged the indestructible metaphysical center, without which it would be impossible to understand magnificent creations in the fields of art, sciences and political development.

It is essentially the same concept of freedom (although it might not be present philosophically) that shows itself with increasing clearness in the relation between what we call personality and community. We strive for a community of millions of Germans, firmly shaped and guided, while at the same time we demand that there is room for outstanding, creative personalities. We do not feel that these two demands oppose one another, although other nations do because they only know the choice between tyranny and chaos. The National Socialist Movement followed its inner instinct and arrived on a political basis at the same conclusions that had earlier been drawn by the important religious leaders of the German people as well as by our thinkers and glorious poets. We could achieve this goal because the National Socialist Movement was led by Germans and had come to life in a fight for freedom.

If we look at the German nation as a whole, it is hindered and bothered by other stipulations that affect world history. Neither for Germany nor for any other nation can national sovereignty be absolute. According to our conviction it would only be harmful and dangerous for the creative power of a nation if there were no borders in this world. Demarcation, competition and the constant check of possibilities is not only part of an individual’s life but part of any nation’s existence. This educational and philosophical thought alone makes it clear that Germany does not strive for world dominion. This National Socialist Weltanschauung that has been attacked so often, wants only that the earth finally be given a Gestalt. A transformation that would end the time of chaotic liberalism which on the one hand strived after a world-trust and world-republic that should be built on democratic internationality and Marxism, while on the other hand it called for a world-revolution to be carried out by so-called proletarians. Earth is not populated with an abstract mankind, but with certain races and nations. These nations and races have their own past and their history can more and more be comprehended by examining the outside of their nature as displayed in combat. In this way they reveal their achievements and make claims for further possibilities of performance. In the middle of the process of political formation we find a natural law. It does not make any sense to protest against this law as rejection of a natural fact doesn’t alter its existence. The fact is that in the evolutionary process we find large nations and small nations. It is clear that a giant plant will reach up further into the heavens and will grow its roots deeper into the ground than small bushes or flowers can. This doesn’t tell us anything about the beauty of life forms, and nothing derogatory is said about the creative possibilities of so-called small nations.

The Greeks were once a small nation but they became the magnificent founders of ancient Indo- Germanic culture. For millennia their educational power produced an effect on related Germanic tribes and young as ever, it still reaches into our time that is marked by a Nordic awakening. On the other hand there were giant nations that threatened to break all boundaries. In their destructive power they probably prepared the ground for a change of things but compared to the example of ancient Greece, they left behind little more than memories of a dark age.

Therefore, the political education of the German nation is governed by both the law of limitation and the right to demand a European unity. In the course of centuries other nations did not take advantage of their chance to accomplish this mission. It is not disgraceful for the German nation to acknowledge its spheres of interest and rights among other great nations on this planet. Germany is even prepared to support their creative powers. On the other hand it is an honorable duty for the German nation to carefully treat the people of those small nations that are protected by the Greater German Reich or those who seek to be protected by us. If they have realized their general destiny we let them generously take part in everything that comes with the inner formation of our old and well respected continent. This is an attitude that once prevailed for a short period of time in ancient Rome; at the time when the powerful and strong Roman nation founded its own state, fighting off all oriental influences. In a synthesis of strict Roman laws and the pride of a Roman citizen they gave an admirable example of the ancient Indo-Germanic attitude.

On a small scale many towns in medieval Germany had organized their life in a way that combined outward strength with an inner creative joy. Prussia, although it was harassed by many enemies, was in many fields an example of the Nordic-German attempt to combine law and freedom. The rigid Friederician order was closely related to the ideas proclaimed by Kant and other great Germans. This is why in the German nation the idea of freedom has always been connected with duties rather than with rights. A German philosopher once made the excellent point that freedom had never been a question of „being free from”, but always a matter of being „free to“. This is an important concept that reveals a whole attitude. The German fight, is not a fight for freedom in the sense of being free from duties. It is the fight for a mission in which we try to live up to the great duty we were given. This is why the German nation is the most revolutionary nation in Europe and at the same time it is the nation where the all-enlightening ideas of inner freedom originated. We are convinced that the conscious inner values of the Germans -honor, faithfulness, loyalty and pride- represent the best elements of all European races. Our political power therefore, is justified as it protects these values.

Ever since the medieval Weltanschauung disappeared we saw various confessions, theories of art and philosophical doctrines, but no great Weltanschauung. Such a Weltanschauung (a view that creates an inner unity in all fields of life) has finally been born in National Socialism.

ALFRED ROSENBERG, „Revolution and Fulfillment”

Published in: on August 18, 2019 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment